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Blessing 100 – 100 days of gratitude. April 9, 2012

Wow! When I started this blessing blog on 1st January I didn’t really think about getting to a hundred, despite deciding to do it every day for a year. The milestones don’t really occur to you, until you reach them. It’s been a challenge at times, not finding things to be grateful for; but finding different things to write about. The things I’m most grateful for: my Mum, my family, my home, my friends, my passions, they’re on going, I’m always grateful, at least I try to be; but keeping it fresh has been a  challenge; but it has also made me search hard each day to find something new.

Today Mum and I went into Norwich to do some shopping and visit the European market, which I think had a few British stalls, we ended up buying bread and cakes from a baker from London, I felt a little cheated! I did get a real French crepe with caramel which was gorgeous; but extremely messy to eat without cutlery, sheltering from the rain in the Royal Arcade. It was a little embarrassing sitting in my wheelchair, scoffing a pancake, in as discrete a manner as possible, while shoppers walked past; but I enjoyed it, so who cares?!

I was delighted because I managed to get a cake stand to complete my set from Lakeland. They’d sold out online and only had two in store, so I was really pleased. I’d got the large stand for Christmas and the cake store for my birthday, it’s cream china with little heart cutouts – really pretty and totally me! You can see it here http://www.lakeland.co.uk/43182/Amore-Ceramic-Two-Tier-Cake-Stand

Mum and I even stopped off at the new cafe in M&S which was great – I loved the concept of them serving the food you can buy down in the shop. I don’t know why I’d never really thought of it before; but it’s a great way to promote the products you already sell, showing people what they can do with them.

It was the perfect end to a really great Easter weekend and one I’m sad to see over.


Blessing 92 – Good family, good food, good times. April 1, 2012

Filed under: Blessing Blog 2012,Food — Claire @ 11:29 pm
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Today I had a birthday meal at a local Chinese buffet – my favourite food ever! It’s a really great restaurant with a good atmosphere and even better food, although why is it you can have a Chinese meal and be hungry by the time you get home?

The meal was meant to be with family and friends; but unfortunately all my friends cancelled because of illness, so it was just me, Mum, my brother Simon and his girlfriend Fee. We had a really lovely time. I don’t get to see them very much, so it was great to be able to relax, chat and eat!

I even got a present! They got me a fab Yankee candle and holder, it’s really me and I totally love it. It was the perfect end to my birthday weekend and I know it must have been a good one because I’m sad it’s over and not looking forward to the week starting. I feel hugely blessed and just want this weekend to last forever!


Blessing 90 – The perfect birthday. March 30, 2012

I wasn’t sure what to expect from my birthday this year – I’m a huge fan of birthdays in general, normally getting excited about mine as soon as Christmas is over. I’ve been known to count down the days from 1st January; but normally from the beginning of March. This year I’ve been so busy that I got distracted and it sorted of snuck up on me.

I had planned two different things to do on my birthday; but both fell through, so I decided not to make any set plans, just to go with the flow and see what happens. I can say whole heartedly and very happily that the day has been perfect!

Mum made me pancakes with ice cream for my breakfast – it’s a tradition! I had some of the new Ben + Jerry’s core ice creams – if you haven’t tried them then you have to! They do two flavours of ice cream with a core down the centre, like caramel or chocolate ganache, they are so yummy!

I’m going on a cupcake decorating course tomorrow, so we had to go to a cake shop to buy all the bits – that was a scarily expensive shopping spree; but at least I’ll be able to use most of the bits again as they were mainly sugar craft tools. I’m really excited as I’ve always wanted to learn sugar craft.

Then we had lunch at one of my favourite places – Taste of Oz, an Australian themed restaurant who do amazing food! I did knock over the vinegar bottle which shattered on their tiled floor. I felt embarrassed; but not as mortified as I would have once.

We then came back via Waitrose to get a birthday cake (Butterscotch) and some bits for tea. I got lots of cupcake china and themed presents from Mum, so we had decided to have a tea party. We bought some salad, a tomato and garlic pizza bread and some other picnic style bits. It was so good!

I got lots of lovely messages on Facebook – 57 people!!! – some texts and I talked to my brother, aunt and friend Grace, who sang to me on my answer machine. It was fabulous! We then watched Letters to Juliet which was a classic RomCom; but was really sweet.

I feel very luck and very spoilt and I don’t mind too much that I’m now a year older! I am truly blessed.


Blessing 50 – A Shaake a day February 19, 2012

Wow, can’t believe a) I’m up to fifty blessings and b) we’re fifty days into the year. I feel like my blog post should be something deep and meaningful today; but I’d already decided I was going to blog about getting my first Shaake today as part of my competition prize. Mum and I popped into the city to get it.

I actually felt a bit embarrassed going in, I’m not used to getting something for nothing and always feel I have to earn everything I get, through hard work, sweat, tears and stress; but I think my amazing mentors would tell me that is a very stupid concept and one that I need to get rid of. If I expect everything to be hard before I see rewards then it will be. I think it’s time to appreciate that not everything has to be a struggle and things can come easily, it doesn’t mean I don’t deserve them or haven’t earned them, that’s just the way they come into my life, so I should be grateful. Oh my, there I was saying I wasn’t going to go deep!

I went into Shaake and was presented with a  little card with my name on it and a calendar of the next thirty days – each time I have a Shaake they’ll cross one off. I was really pleased and felt like a kid seeing my name on the card. Today I had a “Totally Posh” which had Lindt chocolates and Ferrero Roche in it – it was AMAZING! So good and a real treat.

Shaake Day 1 Totally Posh - slightly windswept!

Then Mum and I drove to this great look out which has an amazing view over the city, so we could relax and enjoy it. The weather was perfect, blue sky, puffy clouds, bright sunshine. Spring was definitely in the air. We shared the Shaake and just sat enjoying the view. It was brilliant, a great day.

View over Norwich



Blessing 48 – Winning Competitions! February 17, 2012

I am the first to admit that I’m a lucky person, I take the time to enter competitions and while I don’t win regularly, I do win more than a lot of people – much to my brother’s disgust. I normally win something in a raffle – in fact it has got to the point where I’m careful where I buy tickets for because it can get a bit embarrassing, I didn’t get any when I visited the WI as I thought it wouldn’t look good to go in and win prizes intended for members. I went to the bingo once and won three times, I felt a bit guilty and everyone was glaring at me a bit!

I have also won a few bigger competitions in the past, a denim jacket from the film Corrina, Corrina, fruit baskets for a year, I even won tickets to the Brits with a night’s stay in a hotel which was the coolest and biggest prize I’ve won so far. I’m still aiming for an iPad and a luxury holiday abroad though!

Tonight I found out that I’ve won a month’s worth of milkshakes at my favourite place in Norwich. It’s called Shaake and does the most yummy shakes and smoothies I’ve ever had. They do fruity ones as well as chocolate ones and it’s a real treat to visit, so now I’m planning when I can go in. I won’t be able to make it every day (it’s one shake a day); but I’m hoping to make it in a few times. Even once or twice will be lovely. I’ve had my eye on their real chocolate hot chocolate, so I hope that counts too!

Not sure it really fits into my raw food ideas; but I had intended to have more juices and they do have protein powders you can add. I’ll try to be good and have the fruit only ones – well at least some of the time, since my ultimate favourite is strawberry and Snickers….. mmmmm!

I’m feeling very happy and smiley right now, it’s a lovely surprise and one I plan to enjoy!


Blessing 47 – Raw Food Revolution February 16, 2012

Filed under: Blessing Blog 2012,Food — Claire @ 11:31 pm
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Everyone seems to be talking about raw foods. I’ve been hearing about it for a while, from a friend and various contacts; but it wasn’t something I was really sure about. How can raw food taste as good as cooked? How can you substitute all the things like butter and flour and still get something like a cake?

This evening my WI had a lady from a local cafe who do raw, vegetarian, vegan and organic food – things that I’d automatically avoid assuming it would all be beans and lentils, tasteless and cardboardy.

I have heard about the benefits of a raw or living diet; but I have to admit to being slightly sceptical, in the past I’ve done lots of exclusion diets to help my ME and none have made any difference, for better or worse. Diet has never affected my ME one way or the other, so I’ve stuck to a fairly balanced one; but know I could be better with more fruit and veg – I struggle to get up to five a day.

I went with an open mind and found the talk really interesting. I particularly liked the sound of making your own almond milk and having it in hot chocolate which sounded yummy! The lady also did a demonstration of a chocolate tart which contained avocado, dates and cocoa powder. The ladies on my table were as reserved as I was about the recipe; but we were all willing guinea pigs. It was actually really good, the filling was rich and creamy and could have been dairy. The fruit and nut crust was a little chewy and I must admit to thinking it would have been better in a nice shortcrust pastry! 😉 Not the point I know; but old habits…

The lady did say that she recommended people take it on gradually and that green smoothies/juices were her main recommendation. That was one of my resolutions this year which has sadly not happened – partly because the juicer was in the garage; but it’s out now, so there’s no more excuses. I’m going to try one this weekend and see how I get on.

It would be lovely if I could find foods that would give me a bit more energy. I don’t think I will ever be able to give up on the treats that I love; but I would happily add in some extra things into my diet. I’m off to Google Green Juice recipes without banana. I’ll let you know how I get on.